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Doll Shaker - Casey Renee Kiser, Jasmyn Taylor Givens

I received a copy of this book through Library Thing in exchange for an honest review.

I am a big fan of Casey Renee Kiser. I love the unique style of her poetry. It is casual, but has so much feeling behind it. I really enjoy reading poems that take my breath away or make me really think, even if I'm not entirely sure what the poem is about. These are those kind of poems. Some have obvious meanings while others are a bit trickier to figure out. But they all have a uniqueness that I really enjoy.

I liked that this collection centered around the theme of toys and dolls. I also liked the use of size and style of text to emphasize different lines.

Another great collection of poetry by Casey Renee Kiser.

Bad Kitty Meets the Baby - Nick Bruel

Another great Bad Kitty book.

Very silly and adorable. I love the illustrations as well as the little fun facts pages about cats in trees.

This book also includes tips on how to teach a cat to do tricks.

Very cute. Loved it.

The Chaos of Longing - K.Y. Robinson
This book was okay.

I wasn't a huge fan of the format and style of the poetry. To me they did not have a nice flow. They felt more random than actually thought through and planned.

I liked that the book was divided into four sections: inception, longing, chaos, epiphany. This helped to separate the concepts in the book. However, because they were divided this was, it was very clear how similar the poems were. Many of the poems blurred together and didn't feel like distinct works. They relied heavily on the same ideas and images.

While there was definitely heart and emotion in the poetry, they felt too quick, like little bursts of ideas rather than fully-developed pieces.

While there were a few interesting images created, I wasn't too impressed with the imagery in this book.
You Need More Sleep: Advice from Cats - Francesco Marciuliano

A very cute book filled with adorable cat pictures and lots of silly cat advice. It is definitely good for a few cat-related laughs and will remind any cat owner to ponder the basic question, "Why did I ever get a cat?"

I liked Marciuliano's poetry more, because of the uniqueness that format presented, but this book was still a fun read.

The Secret of the Sacred Temple: Cambodia - Elizabeth Singer Hunt

Cool concept for a series. This is the first book I read in the series, but enough background information is given, allowing it to be read as a stand alone.

This is kind of similar to The Magic Tree house books, but with more action and less focus on education.

The plot was good (although a bit unbelievable nine-year-old saving a grown woman is a bit insulting, special agent or not).

The writing was very simple and easy to understand.

In the beginning of the book, there is information given on characters, gadgets, and the GPF, which was helpful for someone who has not read the previous books. However, the first few chapters reiterated a lot of this information, which came off as a little repetitive. I think that the book would have been fine with one or the other, but having both made the beginning a little dull.

Overall, a good read with lots of adventure.

Milo Speck, Accidental Agent - Linda Urban

What a wonderful adventure!

I loved this book. It was well-written and engaging. I especially liked all of the puns and various word-related humor. I can definitely see a parent reading this to a child and both of them enjoying it immensely.

Great plot. And I loved Milo's character. You can definitely see the influence of The BFG in this book, but it is still very much its own story.

The only drawback for me was that I felt it could have been shorter than it was. Basically, anything bad that could happen did and everything that could go wrong did. I think some of this could have been cut out to make a more concise story. I enjoyed reading it, but it felt too stretched out at times. It got to the point that if Milo made some sort of plan, I began to expect it to go horribly wrong.

But overall, this was a great read. Humorous, adventurous, and fun. Definitely worth the read.

I Knead My Mommy: And Other Poems by Kittens - Francesco Marciuliano

Love it!

This book is adorable, humorous, and entertaining. It also makes me glad that I have a full-grown cat instead of a kitten.

The various poems were very creative and cover many different topics, such as exploration, cat-dog relationships, and the incessant need of felines to sit on a lap at all times. Most were silly and funny, but I will admit that "Not Goodbye" broke my heart.

Highly recommend to cat lovers.

The Mermaid Tales: Celia's Best Friends: Bedtime story, Beginner reader, Ages 3-8, Books For Kids, Values - Chloe Sanders

This book was okay.

For me, the biggest problem was the writing itself. It was very simple, often too simple ("The sun was warm, and the water was wet"). I realize this is meant for young readers, but the descriptions were very vague. I couldn't really picture the events happening based on the descriptions.

Also, there were many awkward similes like comparing something to a tree or an ice cream cone. These seemed like weird comparisons for creatures who live underwater.

The story was cute, although making the shark the bully was not very original. Also, I didn't like that the main character tricked the shark when she was being mean. Two wrongs don't make a right and all that. If you're teaching kids a lesson, at least stick to that lesson.

Overall, a cute book, but not one that really interested me. I did enjoy the picture.


Billy Budd, Sailor (Enriched Classics) - Herman Melville

After reading the introduction of this book, I was under the impression that it was about a mutiny. Therefore, my perspective was a bit skewed going in. So as a warning to future readers, this is not about a mutiny. It does not detail a mutiny. In fact, a mutiny does not happen at all. There is a rumor of a mutiny. That is it.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way- This book was okay. It was written in an interesting way in that the narrator is not completely omniscient and some of the narration is just speculation. Plot-wise, I don't think much really happened. It was very slow-paced and more about morality than telling an actual story.

While the character of Billy Budd appeared likeable, he didn't really do or say very much, therefore it was hard to really see him as a character. This goes for most of the people in the book. They didn't feel very fleshed out and their stories were not told in a very active way, which made the book a little dull.

This book is really focused on philosophy and morality. With that in mind, it presents an interesting dilemma, but not a very interesting story. I think it is a good commentary on society and various moral issues, but is not a very interesting read.

Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box - Leonard S. Marcus, Various

I won a copy of this book from BookRiot.

This is a great book for comic and graphic novel lovers. Consisting of thirteen interviews and presented in question-answer format, this book gives some insight into creating graphic novels.

Each graphic novelist also created a short comic for the book around a central theme. I loved seeing all of the different styles of art included in the book.

The only real drawback for me with this book was that the question-answer format was a little boring to read at times. The interviews were interesting, but I found it best to read an interview, take a break, then read another one. Otherwise, they all kind of blended together.

One thing that really resonated with me personally was how many of the artists discussed feeling pigeonholed into superhero comics. They recalled how freeing it was to discover that an artist can create whatever they want with their art. I have always been fascinated with comics and graphic novels, but don't really like the style and representation of superhero comics and I am so thankful that there are so many more options now. Comics are so diverse today, in part, because of the hard work of some of the graphic novelists featured in this book. I loved the emphasis on being yourself and doing what is meaningful to you.

Overall, a good read. I recommend to people who enjoy reading or creating comics and graphic novels.

New Micro Fiction

Hey everyone!


Check out my new micro fiction story, "The Golden-Stair Life", on 101 Words today. It's a fun little twist on a classic fairy tale story. 


If you like what you see, be sure to follow me on Goodreads for updates on new stories. 



Hope you enjoy! 

The Wild Kid - Harry Mazer

This was a good book.

I stumbled across it when cleaning out my mom's attic and since I don't think I ever actually read it, I thought I'd give it a try.

I really liked the focus on ability. Sammie proves himself to be a very capable person. As a self-prescribed "special person", he constantly deals with people telling him what he can and cannot do. I love the way the author showed how a person who is differently-abled can still take care of himself.

I also really liked that it was in first person so the reader was really put in Sammie's shoes and sees different issues he faced such as bullying and self doubt .

Mostly the book is about friendship and though it is a weird friendship, I think it goes to show that friends can be found in the most unlikely of places.

Overall, a good, quick read. Kind of weird, but full of heart.

Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty - Nick Bruel

I enjoyed reading this book. It's a very quick and easy read, but quite funny and adorable.

This is the first Bad Kitty book I have read after the [book:Bad Kitty|690955] picture book, which I also enjoyed. While this book does have chapter headings, there is not very much text and it mostly relies on the pictures. This is not inherently bad, but I think it is good to know going into it. It reads more like a picture book or graphic novel, rather than a chapter book.

I did like that there were little educational things thrown in like why cats can't eat chocolate, why cats scratch things, and different breeds of cats. It's a great way for young readers to learn about cats in a fun and humorous way.

Great book for cat lovers. This is a fun read that we cat people can really relate to.

The Last Payback - James VanOosting, Tim Barnes

I remember buying this book from a used bookstore as a kid. I rediscovered it when cleaning out my mom's old house and decided to give it a read (or re-read, I have no idea if I ever actually read it).

For me, this book was okay. I think the premise was good, but the way it was carried out often felt rushed and kind of irresponsible.

The main character, Dimple, really annoyed me, because she was so emotionally-stunted. This is a book about kids trying to act like grownups in the most dangerous way. I really disliked Dimple, because she was so unaware of other people. Everything was about her all the time. She had no concept of theory of mind or how other people felt about things. This really bugged me, especially since she's in sixth-grade. It just didn't feel realistic. She acted more like a third-grader. With dangerous consequences.

Also, the fact that the book was so child-driven felt irresponsible to me. There was little to no parent intervention throughout the story. The kids just took it unto themselves to "fix" things. As a so-called "adult" reading this, it just didn't seem realistic.

And for a character that was supposedly so detail-oriented, there were so many weird plot holes and unrealistic reactions, such as...








<spoiler> Despite the fact that Dimple told Sheila that she was completely serious about shooting Ronnie, Sheila didn't even consider mentioning this to a grown up.

Even after a child was killing in their house using their gun, Ronnie's parents still kept another gun under the mattress when the first gun was hidden.

After finding three sixth-graders alone in a house (one of which was passed out on the floor) and a gun laying in the hallway, the Fishbacks made no attempt to reach any of the children's parents (even though they were all right down the street).

Ronnie's parents have two guns "for protection", but they keep their doors unlocked? I grew up in a small town as well and we kept our doors unlocked when we were home, but we didn't have guns just laying around.

Sheila gives Dimple the bullet she gets out of the pillow after Dimple almost shoots Ronnie. Would the bullet really just be sitting in the pillow? Wouldn't it have gone through an lodged in the wall or headboard or something? <spoiler>


So, for me, this book just had too many holes and unrealistic actions to really enjoy. It had a interesting concept, but just didn't do anything with it. I think the subject matter was important, but don't feel like there wasn't much of a lesson in it. It was too simplified.

The Witch With The Glitch: A Halloween Adventure (The Lost Bookshop Book 0) - Adam Maxwell

This is a very entertaining read. I loved the premise of the Lost Bookshop. It is similar to the Magic Treehouse books, but is more humorous than educational.

A great book for young readers. The language is simple, but the adventures are funny. The events are often silly and humorous. I loved the scene where we first meet the mob.

The author often interjects and speaks directly to the reader, giving the narration a fun and casual tone.

I really enjoyed this book. Also, that cover. Simply adorable.

Colt in the Cave - Ben M. Baglio

I found a copy of this book in the Lending Library. I haven't read any of the Animal Ark Hauntings books before this, but I remember having a few Animal Ark books growing up

Overall, the story was interesting. Without giving too much away, the ending did not come as much of a surprise given that it is a Hauntings book. But I still enjoyed the story and liked how all of the pieces fell into place.

Not going to lie, the best part was everyone trying figure out the Internet. It really brought me back to the days of that awful start up tone and not getting calls while on Yahoo Messenger. Good times.

A cool, quick read with a nice ending.